All of the attorneys and staff at Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO are dedicated to helping our local and nationwide communities navigate toward a brighter future. This year, we decided to start a scholarship that would help us do just that by assisting one college student with securing their college education. The first submission period for that scholarship, Fall 2017, just came to a close.
We were truly humbled by the amount of applications we received– 104 total– as well as the exceptional high quality of every essay. All of the essays were outstanding. Choosing just one winner was difficult!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Nicole Quezada of Huron, California!
Nicole will be attending University of California, Davis as a Biomedical Engineering major this fall.
We asked our applicants to talk about the ways in which they’re passionate about the areas they choose to volunteer in and give back to their communities.
This is Nicole’s winning essay:
“Welcome to United Health Centers.” This was the statement I uttered for four weeks as a Volunteer Guest Specialist at my local clinic. Here, my perspective on the inner workings of the medical world took formation. The hours were long and the room seemed overwhelmed with desperate patients. At the beginning of my shifts, I felt helpless. It almost seemed as if my volunteer description only entitled me to greet people and wish them good-bye. Little did I know, that this experience would be the most rewarding and instructive.
The job of a Guest Specialist at United Health Centers is to make the patient’s stay the most comfortable and welcoming it can be. Individuals would enter the double doors and be welcomed with a warm smile and helping hand. As time progressed, however, I began to interact with many of the individuals who desperately waited hours for attention. In fact, many of the patients brought along their children, who were incredibly anxious and bored by the empty white walls and irrelevant television channels on display. I could not stand idly by as the crowded waiting area turned into an uproar of pleading children. At the sight of this, I began to strategize a plan that would benefit the clinic staff, parents, and children.
I created a simple box that was irresistible. It contained crayons, comic books, coloring pages, and a few office supplies. I hesitantly sat on a broken plastic table placed in the middle of the waiting area and hoped. Little by little, curious children and parents began to hover by the table. I would show them the box and their eyes would become big and round. They would sit at the broken table, content with their imagination and means of portrayal.
“Me llamo Maria”. This was one the name of the first artist who approached my box. She was five years old, a bit round, had light brown hair, and loved to talk about her abilities. She had seemed terrified at first, but within fifteen minutes, she and I were friends. The minute after the terribly icy and silent fifteen minutes passed, Maria began to lean in closer and trust my intentions.
This experience may seem minuscule and without purpose, but it is quite the opposite. This event helped me communicate with others with more confidence. Being a resident in a town where crime, pregnancy, and poor economics are the lifestyle, this was a breakthrough. Being able to understand and assist my neighbor was enlightening, humbling, and instructive. My creative and original solution was not only a box, but rather, it was an opportunity to break barriers within my community.
This is only one example of the many volunteering experiences I have had. There is no other satisfaction that comes with aiding the members of one’s community. I am particularly passionate of my community because of its isolation, underrepresentation, and lack of resources. It is an indefatigable community that has overcome despite its staggering statistics of poverty and crime. Breaking barriers and cycles of countless descriptions has been both, difficult and revolutionary.
To be a part of a community that remains forgotten comes with resonating images of disadvantage and disdain. However, there is power in rediscovery. As such, the moments that I clung in pain with my community led to experiences that expanded my paradigms, my courage, my determination, my understanding, and my compassion. It was a transformative pain.
For more information on the next scholarship period which will be for Spring 2018, please see our law firm’s scholarship page for updates within the next week. Congratulations again, Nicole! May all your dreams come true.